On my late mom's birthday
April 9th was my late mom's birthday. She got named Bunny because it fell on Easter. My dad when working as a human resource manager for a defense company eons ago gave everyone off on their birthdays and apparently it became a nationwide tradition. Not particularly relevant but interesting. My sister emailed me saying mom used to announce her birthday a month before the date. Then the whole month was her birthday. To honor her 'Bunnyness' I put together a book on her writings on stars that she performed and wrote about. She was a funny lady. Valuable time was spent on it but it encapsulated her and her good, bad, neutral qualities. She was a major player in our family.
As a child we seemed close and she was a dominant influence. Later the years flew by and there were psychological insights into my youth, philosophical journeys to help handle what was realized, and spiritual quests to reconcile. We had argued, tried to be peaceful, and sometimes were estranged. Since her passing 9 years ago, (my sister said she would have been 98 this year), I did not think of her as much as I would have thought I would. I was preoccupied with my own stuff, my dad was alive until last year, and I did not encourage myself to speak to the deceased. My dad would say her presence is around us. That felt good to know but I didn't feed that type of connection. Dad's last year was a mess, and this year I've spent repairing damage and reviving and balancing neglected areas in my life. Awareness of mom would have to seep in.
Tuesday was 'Bunny's' birthday and I was busy registering a car and other stuff that takes your time. Finally I sat before the computer and tired of talkers and noise just played some yoga music. It was so relaxing I fell asleep in the chair and when I awoke I thought now was the time for some 'mom' time. If not now when?
Just to note the Jews I had read never made that big a deal about birthdays. I think I recall the reason being how a person lives a life was more important. Plus, celebrating ourselves took away from celebrating God, the one who created us. All true I'm sure. Judaism also didn't encourage speaking to the dead. I think it was viewed as best to go with our appeals and prayers to God directly. This all makes sense to me. Still, one is here to test the waters to some extent and see for one's self what works and doesn't. At least that's my rationale.
At first when I thought of mom I communicated my feelings about not doing enough for her and dad. I was never well off enough and able to help them, whether we got along or not. Money might have helped on certain levels, with credibility, with the luxury of time, and with buying some ease. They needed that 'show me' element. My own course demanded too much from me. Plus, I could not risk the loss of time and energy due to emotional upheaval. I could not give with no results. Without a lot of money, that was a fool's game, a luxury I could not afford. If we were on the same page money didn't have to be a factor, but we weren't.
I also wish I could have had more influence during both parents' ends healthwise. Mom was open to other influences, some alternatives, but to go against the establishment, family, and their own mindset would take total dedication with perhaps no appreciation and worse betrayal. Instead, it became clear that I had to keep a light touch and reflect some light here and there.
This feeling of guilt I've heard from other sources so perhaps it's not totally authentic to me. Even so the guilt feelings have credibility. I then thought of how she had hurt me and relayed some of that to her. Then I thought of the years gone by and how I had missed just having a mom in the picture. Everyone stayed in their corner and life just went by. I then appealed to mom about my present activities and pursuits and wondered about her approval of them. After all she was in the next realm. I'm not sure or clear on the response I intuited from her. For aforementioned reasons maybe I was inappropriate in bringing this to the table. This is where the Jewish thing comes in for going directly to God. Well I was trying different things. I didn't want to interfere with whatever mom was doing but maybe at special times the realms could be traversed with some communication taking place and with the maker's approval. I'm not sure. Maybe some day I will be.
I then thought of how she had so much pain and discomfort during her decline. I felt bad she had to suffer so. Both parents had. Almost like torture. My dad had declared he 'was being punished.' I relayed in a silent way to her how I felt. My mind wandered to misgivings I had for why I was not able to communicate more and get across the ideas I had when I was in my middle age and trying to reunite the family and be on the same page. If I could have just explained things at the time and gotten the family on board. I don't recall any specific reaction from mom. I then thought of my youth which just flew by, stress and tensions everywhere with occasional respites of closeness. Things always seemed off balance and tainted. Still, there were some moments where peace broke through.
Alright, I've gone on I know. But I'm leading to something. In that moment of trying to communicate with mom, I fatigued myself with trying to understand things, with trying to reason things out, with trying to involve mom with my future, and trying to be blessed, and with trying to redeem the past. It was all too much.
Then my thoughts turned lighter. They had to. I remembered some cozy moments on the couch with the TV on. I then thought of mom as a young women with pure wonder in her eyes and honest questioning. It seemed as if at one point she had trusted the universe too before feeling perhaps betrayed and things became hardened. She saw my essence and I saw hers and that was good. We were two kindred souls connected in this life. Such moments were too few and did not last.
This led me to feel why bring up anything from this life. It's all goal oriented, about striving, or about fear, or gain, or competing, or the need to achieve and feel safer. Whatever. Why not just go to our pure beings and spend time together in that and in a sense be 'out of time.' I saw her pure lighted being with kind of a smile on it. Light streaked out from her. Then my being was full of light and it streamed out from me. And we just hung out, at peace within, and peace without, together with our lighted beings and feeling love. And all was well.
This was it. This was what I was looking for. The answer was to be able to leave all the 'mishigas' (sp?) behind and get to our roots. We were out of the time realm. Whatever business we had on earth was not paramount at this moment. We could not fully understand it anyhow. So my peaceful shining being hung out with mom's peaceful lighted being, and we had our moment, me in this life, she out of this life, on her birthday. For the moment all felt lifted and blessed.